Quantcast

Pick the Winner: 32 Endangered Animals Face Off in March Sadness Bracket

Climate

Are you worried about what climate change is doing to the Earth's innocent animals?

Elephants face off against mountain goats in the second round of the "Horns & Hooves" category. Photo credit: Brandon Daniel/Creative Commons

Then you'll want to participate in ClimateProgress' March Sadness: A Bracket Battle of Cute Animals, now underway. Thirty-two animals threatened by climate change and environmental degradation were selected to compete. The bracket divided the animals into four categories: Paws and Claws, Fins and Flippers, Horns and Hooves, and Shells and Wings. One animal out of the 32 that began round one almost two weeks ago will emerge as champion after the final round of voting April 6. Voting takes place via Twitter using the hashtag #CPMarchSadness and via comments on the ClimateProgress Facebook page.

"The creatures within this bracket were lovingly chosen by ClimateProgress’ staff, based both on their cuteness and the severity of the environmental threat they face," says ClimateProgress. "They were ranked semi-arbitrarily, but with our perceived likelihood of how popular each animal would be in mind."

One of the primary goals of March Sadness is education. As part of each round, readers learn more about each animal and how it's being endangered by climate change impacts such as drought, sea level rise and rising temperatures. The "winner" will get a deep-dive story put together by a ClimateProgress research team, detailing the extent of the climate threats to that particular animal.

"The basis for how you vote is up to you—you can choose the animal you like the most, the one you think is the cutest, or if you’re really into the end-game of the competition, the one you’d most like to read a deep-dive feature story about," says Climate Progress.

There's still plenty of time to vote; the final round takes place April 6. Image credit: ClimateProgress

Some of the voting has been predictable, but not all of it. Among the animals who started off the round of 32 were favorites like the polar bear, which has already advanced to the round of eight, and sea otter, which beat out the less adorable walrus despite the walrus pileup last fall on Alaska beaches due to melting sea ice. And the beautiful butterfly trounced the gooey gray oyster. But panda and koala are already out of the running. Instead, the wolverine has advanced to the round of eight in the Paws and Claws category. Last summer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to protect wolverines as an official threatened species although fewer than 300 exist in the contiguous 48 states.

Currently, the round of 16 is wrapping up, with voting going in the Horns and Hooves and Shells and Wings category. Elephant is facing mountain goat, and narwhal is taking on moose in the former category, while the latter features the contests of sea turtle vs red knot and butterfly vs peregrine falcon.

"ClimateProgress recognizes that there are many, many more than 32 types of animals facing real and terrible threats from climate change and other environmental problems—not to mention the billions of people who will be affected," say the contest organizers. "Due to human activity, the Earth has lost half its vertebrate species since 1970. Believe us, if we had unlimited time and resources, we’d do them all!"

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

35,000 Walruses Invade Alaska Beach As Climate Change Melts Sea Ice

Half the World's Animal Population Vanished Since 1970

Undersea Superheroes Save Imperiled Marine Life

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Residents wear masks for protection as smoke billows from stacks in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant on Nov. 26, 2015 in Shanxi, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

While most of the world is reducing its dependence on coal-fired power because of the enormous amount of greenhouse gases associated with it, China raised its coal fired capacity over 2018 and half of 2019, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Children run on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in California. Bureau of Land Management

By Matt Berger

It's not just kids in the United States.

Children worldwide aren't getting enough physical activity.

That's the main conclusion of a new World Health Organization (WHO) study released Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Tim Ruben Weimer

Tanja Diederen lives near Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been suffering from Hidradenitis suppurativa for 30 years. Its a chronic skin disease in which the hair roots are inflamed under pain — often around the armpits and on the chest.

Read More Show Less
Biosolids are applied to fallow wheat fields to build healthy soils at Boulder Park, Washington. King County

By Sarah Wesseler

Talk of natural climate solutions typically conjures up images of lush forests or pristine wetlands. But in King County, Washington, one important natural solution comes from a less Instagram-worthy source: the toilets of Seattle.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less